A Short History of the
Round Grove United Church
by John A. Kimmey, Jr.

This short history of Round Grove United Church was compiled and
edited from a paper put together by the Adult Sunday School Class
of Round Grove United Church in 1975.

The German families that eventually settled the Round Grove community came, mainly, from Pomerania and Posen in an area that used to be Prussia but is now in Poland. The names of some of the families that formed the nucleus of the Round Grove church include Uecker, Barfknecht, Duwe, Dollenger, Theide, Wolters and many others. These families arrived as early as 1892 and met in various homes for worship as they had no church building. The church was formally organized in 1901 as the Deutschen Evangelischen Friedens Gemeinde and a church building was completed in 1902 on two acres of land donated by Henry Uecker, Sr. This particular building was "built by its members." The building is described as having a "beaded ceiling, and the outside of narrow weatherboard. The inside was painted white; so were the windows, inside and out, so one could not see in or out." The building was lighted with coal oil lamps afixed to reflective brackets on the walls. "The building was heated with a pot- bellied stove, using wood for fuel. It stood in the center of the building." The description of the organ sounds as if it were an harmonium: "it had to be peddled." The seats were homemade and varnished or stained red which always came off on the men's white shirts in the summer heat. The men and women did not sit together during services: men, on the right and women on the left, of course!

No doubt as a result of World War I, it was decided in 1919 that both German and English, were to be used in church services. Prior to that date they had been in German. In 1928 it was decided that both men and women could hold office in the governing of the church. The church building was remodeled in 1939. A new parish Hall was built in 1949. More renovations were undertaken, an addition to the front of the church and the new south entrance, in 1953. Ten years later, the church building was modernized. "Realizing what the structure meant to the area, its picturesque qualities were retained, supplementing those qualities with original and artistic innovations."

An anecdote will suffice as a conclusion to this compendium of Round Grove United Church. "One evening Uncle Henry Uecker hosted Rev. Don Guynes for dinner. Grace was given before dinner and everyone enjoyed a comfortable meal. When the meal was finished, everyone continued to sit in silence at the table. Without any preliminaries at all, Uncle Henry hit Rev. Guynes on the leg and said, "Pray!" Obviously, a custom new to Rev. Guynes.."